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Radium Springs, one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, is one of many escapes that make Albany an exciting outdoor destination.

ALBANY — Exploring Georgia leads to lots of experiences, including the outdoor sensation that is Albany, conveniently located off I-75 and I-10. Plan a long weekend full of fun and frolic with the animals at Chehaw Park and Zoo or extend your respite with visits to Thronateeska Heritage Center and Flint RiverQuarium.

Chehaw Park and Zoo

Animal lovers will delight in this 700-acre facility where 234 specimens representing more than 73 different species make their home. Outdoor, natural exhibits house exciting animals such as cheetahs, black rhinoceroses, meerkats, black bears, alligators and more. A slow-paced stroll across boardwalks affords visitors to the park a beautiful look at the cypress swamp. Animal feedings and zookeeper talks are excellent ways to become more involved and make the most of your vacation. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride (free with admission) taking you through the largest exhibit where you’ll see seven species roaming in natural herds. Bring your camera and take home loads of memories from one of Albany’s true gems — Chehaw Park and Zoo. Really … where else can you mingle with the meerkats?

Thronateeska Heritage Center, Wetherbee Planetarium and Museum of History

Filled with educational value and room to explore, the value of time spent at Thronateeska Heritage Center is immeasurable. Visitors can look forward to big things like a 40-foot, full-dome HD planetarium, history and science museums, and a rail car display complete with surrounding construction that supports the railroad heritage of the region. Trips to Thronateeska are destined to be memorable parts of any trip and a good reason to come back again.

Flint RiverQuarium

Unique adventure awaits at Flint RiverQuarium, Albany’s blue hole spring holding more than 120 mysterious creatures. You’ll no doubt enjoy exploring through interactive exhibits and one-on-one encounters with fish and other creatures native to south Georgia. See a dive show as well as animal presentations and an alligator feeding. It’s also interesting to witness the difference in ecosystems that make up the Flint River watershed. Be sure and check out the website for special events like kid camps, Mermaid Mornings, Tadpole Time and other themed programming.

Radium Springs Gardens

A peaceful and serene opportunity for the ultimate back-to-nature encounter is available at Radium Springs Gardens — one of the Peach State’s seven natural wonders. Radium Springs Gardens pumps some 70,000 gallons per minute of clear, cool (68-degree) water from an underground cave. Quiet walks meandering through the courtyard with views of foliage-draped hillocks, crystal clear waters and indigenous flora as well as the exotic, all weave together creating the perfect venture with a morning cup of coffee.

Float the Flint

Albany’s southern location makes it an ideal destination for H2O adventures. Float the Flint River by kayak or canoe via the Georgia Power Dam, Riverfront Park Launch, Ray Charles Plaza Launch or the Marine Landing input areas. The float can range in time from two to four hours, depending on where you put in. Call Kayak Attack Adventures at (229) 669-1259 for all of your rental needs, including kayaks, canoes and life jackets.

Get out!

Expand outdoor explorations with the area’s 6-acre Riverfront Park, spread out along the Flint River, featuring a beautiful lawn for family picnics and gatherings, music- and light-animated play fountain, pavilion areas, Turtle Grove Play Park with Dino Dig and Tot Lot, the Horace King Overlook, the Albany Welcome Center, located in the Historic Bridge House, and a three-mile Riverwalk Greenway Trail ideal for bike rides.

Albany Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts take note: Although not outdoors, the Albany Museum of Art is an option when visitors need a break from the sun or if rain prevails. The Albany Museum of Art offers a host of galleries and many exhibitions featuring both nationally and internationally recognized artists. Additionally, one gallery space is always dedicated to a regional artist. With a remarkable collection of 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, this nationally accredited facility is on the grow. The Albany Museum of Art is a great spot for curating and indulging a passion for art.

If you go

From chain hotels, great options for couples, families and even single travelers, to a more local lodging experience at a first-class boutique-style inn, Merry Acres Inn, fabulous amenities and sweet dreams await at the end of the day. Start planning your trip with a look at VisitAlbanyGA.com and locate accommodations that will best suit your needs. Also, make note of area restaurants that you want to taste as well as other attractions that are appealing to you and your travel group.

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